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review 2018-08-26 01:16
SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli

Simon is outed while trying to deal with his best friends' problems, his parents, and his youngest sister.

I liked Simon. His family was weird but likable. The story captured the angst of the teen years. Best friends are not easy to tell especially when jealousy comes along. He is also falling in love with a Tumblr e-mail pal. I liked how social media is portrayed--the good and the bad to the downright ugly.

This is a good beach read. I look forward to more in the series.

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review 2018-08-24 13:33
A Coming Out Book Love Story That Is Witty and Funny
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli

I have read a few LGBT books before, I do enjoy them by how its written but missing out Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda when it was first published in 2015, I finally get around reading it. Part of reading this book was because of the movie (which I have yet to watch still, and its not showing in my country) but to get my hands on a hardcover edition, was never a regret moment. It took me a few weeks to finish when it should be just a week but I bid my time to enjoy it, which I did.

 

There is much to talk about Simon but I am not going to spoil much of it but share my thoughts what I feel towards it. For one - I love the writing. If there is any thing that should be written for a young adult love story, this is it. It feels so natural the exchange dialogue between characters that is real enough for me, I had a great time laughing. The characters are wonderful and memorable. There's Simon, who really is not an open person and afraid if he openly tells people he is gay, his family and friends may not accept him. LeahAbby & Nick, his closest friends shares their acceptance and arguments with him like friends should be is just lovable and cute. And then of course, the chapters of exchange email letters. It just felt so natural, like peeking into someone's life with interest of course. I mean, we all do that some times. And then, what the main theme is about this book that makes it worth reading - open up ourselves to the world and its not about being open up of being gay, but by who we are opening up to the world of what who we are instead of just pretend to be who we are not. I love the writing of it that really have a good lead towards it, with of course a few mushy lovey-dovey teen drama in it (which is why I dock off one star and giving it a four). In all its worth, I really enjoy it.

 

To me, people should read this. It has this feel good feeling, the coming-of-age-out-of-open-up young adult book that I would recommend anyone reading it. I am looking forward to reading the next Creekwood book, Leah on then Offbeatafter this. If you haven't read this, please do. This is really a good read.

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review 2018-08-22 19:43
Simon Says Part 1
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli

What if you had a secret and it defined your whole being? What if someone was blackmailing you with that secret to get closer to a friend? What if you were in love with someone you have never met? What would you do to keep that relationship? 

 

So I have to admit I watched the movie first before reading the book. I know I know its a grave sin!! I should always read the book first. That's what I have always done because another wise I feel like I'm cheating. But I'm actually glad I did it reversed. This will be a two-part review, first the book then the movie in comparison. 

Simon, Simon, Simon....... I want to love him but I kinda don't. He's a little self-absorbed and superficial with his friends. The entire time he is all consumed with how things affect him and trying to hide that he is gay. Throughout the book, his emails and relationship with Blue mirror Simon's real-life relationships. In the fact that Simon really does not dig deeply into any relationships, his long relationships with his best friends are only surface deep and when someone wants to dig deeper (such as parents and sisters) he pushes them away. Blue's animosity reflects how Simon hides everything about himself and when the person he wants to get the closest too treats him how he treats people, he is forced to reflect on himself. Yet, his personality and attitude are how the adolescent stage is.  

Albertalli does a great job in constructing a society where secrets are kept. Simon's sisters, friends, classmates are all keeping secrets that don't necessarily have to be a secret. Just like Simon, they do not want the image of themselves to be altered because that means things will change. Albertalli captured the hardships of trying to project what society expects from us vs what we truly are. I loved that Albertalli did not censor Simon's language or actions to fit into a pleasant box. Simon cusses, drinks, do what his parents would probably not like him to do BUT he's a teenager! Leah.... I don't like her, I just don't. She's a little too angry for my tastes. I don't think Albertalli developed nor gave enough backstory to her. Nor to many characters outside Simon and Blue. 

I did appreciate the authenticity of the bullying in the school. Portraying coming out in a positive and negative light. It was the little jabs here and there that made the deepest wounds for Simon but at the same time, he saw people stand up for him even people he least expected. 

Quotes:

Nothing is worse than the secret humiliation of being insulted by proxy

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review 2018-08-17 13:18
Great Look at LGBT Teens
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli

I really enjoyed "Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda." Even though it was short, Albertalli did a great job of making all of the characters in this story feel like three dimensional characters. The only reason why I didn't give this story five stars is that Simon's love interest is of a race that often treats gay men terrible. I don't know how realistic it was that everything ended up with hearts, kittens, etc. since this story also takes place in Georgia. I am not going to complain though since it was nice to just read a LGBT story with a happy ending.

 

"Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda" is about 16 year old Simon Spier. Simon is gay, but hasn't come out to his family or closest friends. When he forgets to log out of his email account one day at the school computers, a guy from his school (Martin Addison) finds out his secret. Martin blackmails Simon into helping him get with Abby Suso who is close to Simon's friend group. Things go awry and Simon is afraid that his email relationship with the guy he calls "Blue" could end.

 

Simon was wonderful. I really enjoyed this character. I sometimes have trouble with Young Adult books since the teens portrayed are often whiny or just jerks. Simon was a really good kid who is scared that coming out to his family and friends will change things and cause them to turn away from him. His long standing friendship with his best friends Nick and Leah is going through some upheaval since Nick has a crush on Abby Suso and Leah is jealous of their tight threesome breaking up.

 

Simon's parents were hippies on overload. They love Simon and his two sisters. They do fun family activities. 

 

Simon and Blue's email exchanges are sweet and also full of longing. I can't imagine trying to hide who you are from your family and friends. They both give each other advice and are there for each other.

 

I loved the other characters we see in this book, NIck, Leah, Abby, Blue, Simon's two sisters. Albertalli does a good job of having them in the story and providing enough details that they feel real.

 

I would say that the character of Martin Addison is going to make you grind your teeth. He is garbage and I hated how I still don't think this character thinks he did anything wrong. You eventually have things coming to a head, but I hated how it was resolved. 


Albertalli does a good job of showing how far people still need to go without bullying people who are different from them too. I loved the teachers in this one, for once we didn't have a Young Adult book where I wondered if all of the adults were terrible.


The writing was really good and the flow as okay too. I think the only thing I really didn't care for was when Albertalli went into the whole trope of Simon having a crush on everyone thinking they can secretly be Blue. It was beyond annoying after a while. 

 

“I actually think people would be cool about it,” Martin says. “You should be who you are.” I don’t even know where to begin with that. Some straight kid who barely knows me, advising me on coming out. I kind of have to roll my eyes."

 

Yeah my thoughts too.

 

"I take a sip of my beer, and it’s—I mean, it’s just astonishingly disgusting. I don’t think I was expecting it to taste like ice cream, but holy fucking hell. People lie and get fake IDs and sneak into bars, and for this? I honestly think I’d rather make out with Bieber. The dog. Or Justin."

 

I just laughed. 

 

“Good-bye, cute Simon,” says Peter, hugging me, and then kissing me on the forehead. “Go be seventeen.”

 

That was so sweet. 

 

The setting of Georgia seems a bit removed from a Georgia that I know of. It seems like most of the students at the school Simon goes to are white. And though Albertalli shows some incidents of kids bullying Simon, I have to wonder about what happened with Simon's love interest. Everything tied up way too neatly.

 

The ending was very sweet and hopeful. 

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text 2018-08-16 21:35
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli

Such a great book! I don't have time today to really enthuse but Albertalli totally hits the right notes with Simon and all of his friends. Not really feeling the sequel that much, but this one was fantastic. I want to throttle Martin Addison. That is all.

 

FYI my Kindle book version ended at 83 percent. So this was a fairly short book.

 

 

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